|Publication number||US7984842 B2|
|Application number||US 12/024,385|
|Publication date||Jul 26, 2011|
|Filing date||Feb 1, 2008|
|Priority date||Feb 2, 2007|
|Also published as||US20080185424|
|Publication number||024385, 12024385, US 7984842 B2, US 7984842B2, US-B2-7984842, US7984842 B2, US7984842B2|
|Inventors||Jon A. Richie|
|Original Assignee||Richie Jon A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (26), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (3), Classifications (13), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/888,010, filed Feb. 2, 2007 and entitled “Megaphone Popcorn Cup, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
The present disclosure relates to food concession containers, such as cups. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to food concession containers used at sporting and other events.
At sporting events, popcorn and other food items are typically distributed to customers in containers, such as cups, bags and boxes. For example, popcorn is typically sold in a bag that can be carried by a customer attending the event.
In the early days of professional baseball and football, popcorn cups were used. These cups served as both a container for the popcorn and a megaphone for cheering at the event. These cups had a generally conical shape with the small, narrow end being open (with a small diameter opening) or closed by an end cap. The end caps were fixed to the conical cup by a friction-fit with metal ring so that the end caps could be removed after the popcorn had been consumed. The cup could then be used as a megaphone.
Unfortunately, these types of cups became extremely expensive to manufacture and are no longer in use. Presently, popcorn is most often distributed in a bag. Some manufactures sell plastic cups with plastic, snap-on end caps or bases. The end caps or bases can be removed so that the remaining container can be used as a megaphone. But again, these cups can be expensive to manufacture.
Improved food containers are therefore desired that are relatively inexpensive and easy to make and that bring back the nostalgia of early sporting events.
An aspect of the disclosure relates to a container. The container includes a first end, which is open to an interior of the container, and a second end, which has a smaller diameter than the first end. The container has a side wall with overlapping first and second side edges that are attached to one another. An end cap at least partially seals the second end. The end cap is vertically offset from the second end toward the first end and is formed with the side wall as a single, continuous piece of material.
Another aspect of the disclosure relates to an article of manufacture that includes a sheet of material. The sheet of material includes first and second side edges and curved top and bottom edges. The top and bottom edges have lengths and radii of curvature such that the sheet of material forms a three-dimensional terminated cone with substantially parallel top and bottom ends when the first and second side edges are overlapped with one another. An end cap is connected to the bottom edge through a bridge, wherein the bridge extends along only a portion of the bottom edge.
In one example, the container forms a conical megaphone popcorn cup.
Container 10 can be made from any suitable material, such as but not limited to paper, plastic, etc. or a combination thereof. In one exemplary embodiment, container 10 is formed from a planar sheet of material that has been rolled into a cone, with the two side edges of the sheet overlapping one another to form a seam 16. Seam 16 can be secured by any suitable method or material, such as by an adhesive positioned between the two edges. In other examples, the seam can be secured by adhesive tape and/or one or more staples, for example.
The small-diameter end 14 is closed by an end cap 18 that can be formed as a single-continuous piece with the material forming the remainder of the conical container or as a separate piece that is attached to the container such as along the inner diameter face of the container, the outer diameter face of the container, and/or along the edges of end 14.
In one embodiment, an adhesive strip 30 (shown in dashed lines) can be attached to the inside surface of sheet 20 along at least a portion of edge 22 such that the strip contacts and adheres to the outside surface of the sheet along edge 24. Side edges 22 and 24 can have rectilinear shapes and/or curved shapes, for example. Adhesive can also or alternatively be attached to the inner diameter surface of edge 24. In one embodiment, the adhesive strip further includes a releasable liner to allow multiple articles of manufacture to be stacked prior to assembly without sticking to one another.
In the example shown in
Bottom edge 28 includes end cap 18, which is connected to the edge through bridge piece 42, which provides a vertical offset as described in more detail below. Bridge piece 42 has breaks 44 along each end to encourage bending along the breaks during assembly. Breaks 44 can be made by pre-bending the material of sheet 20 or by any other method such as by perforating or weakening the material along edge 28 and end cap 18. In an alternative embodiment, end cap 18 is attached to edge 28 without bridge piece 42.
In the example shown in
In one example, end cap 18 has a diameter that is larger than an inner diameter of container 10 at bottom edge 28 and smaller than the inner diameter of container 10 at top edge 26. The end cap 18 frictionally engages an inner diameter surface of the container's side wall without any further attachment to the inner diameter surface. The smaller diameter bottom edge 28 tends to hold end cap 18 in place when the end cap of forced downward by food contained within he container.
End cap 18 can assist in forming a bottom to container 10 for containing a food (or beverage if sealed properly) item within the container.
When desired, the consumer can remove end cap 18 by punching-out, tearing or otherwise removing the end cap so that the remainder of container 10 can be used as a megaphone for cheering at an event, such as a baseball game. A perforation along breaks 44 can further assist in removing end cap 18, if desired.
All surfaces of container 10 can be used for advertising, keeping score of the event, collecting autographs, providing customers with coupons, etc. For example, end cap 18 can be utilized as a medallion with printed information and/or graphics so that the end cap can be saved as a souvenir or used as a coupon.
After assembly, a large number of containers 10 can be stacked compactly similar to beverage cups currently in use. This allows a large number of containers to be stacked together and shipped in a package. This also can be beneficial to concession operators that distribute the filled containers since the containers can be dispensed using the same dispensing methods currently used by concessionaires. I one example, the container can be constructed entirely of paper and a small amount of adhesive, which may be more environmentally friendly than the plastic with which current megaphones are typically constructed.
Although the present disclosure has been described with reference to one or more examples, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the scope of the disclosure and/or the appended claims.
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|US8528729 *||Mar 17, 2010||Sep 10, 2013||Lars E. Juveland||Light-weight golf bag capable of being dismantled|
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|U.S. Classification||229/103, 229/5.5, 229/400, 181/178, 181/180|
|International Classification||B65D3/28, G10K11/18|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D81/36, B65D3/06, G10K11/08|
|European Classification||B65D81/36, B65D3/06, G10K11/08|